Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mini Chocolate & Almond Croissants

Good Morning! Warm croissants and cold apple cider, anyone?

Whatever else you offer at your next brunch, make sure you serve these as well. I've made the croissants as part of two menus this past month, and they've been the #1 requested recipe of each event. Lucky for you and me, they're really not difficult at all, especially once you've made them for the first time. Even better, you can prepare them the night before, so all you have to do in the morning is brush them with egg, sprinkle with sugar, and pop them in the oven for 15 minutes!

Here's the recipe by Chef Anne Thorton, adapted slightly and with photos.................................
1 17.3 ounce package or 2 sheets frozen puff pastry thawed
Flour, for dusting, if needed
2 Milka Milk Chocolate Confection chocolate bars, (or other good European chocolate,) broken into mini bars according to the indented lines (You'll use about 1.5 bars, so you can eat the rest while they're baking.)
1 large egg, beaten
Sugar, for sprinkling
1/2 (7-ounce) package almond paste, shaped into 32 logs each composed for about 1/4 tsp paste (or just 
reference the photos to see about the ratio of paste to chocolate you're going for)

Special equipment: pizza cutter or kitchen shears, ruler
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line the 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
Place 1 sheet thawed puff pastry on the work surface like a sheet of paper or portrait (not horizontal or landscape.) If the pastry is very sticky, very lightly flour the working surface. Using a pizza cutter or kitchen shears, cut the puff pastry in half, widthwise.

Using a ruler as a guide, make an indentation at 2-inch intervals (for the base) across the bottom of each puff pastry half. Cut each half into 8 triangles, with the base of each triangle measuring 2 inches. (They will be very long isosceles triangles.) You'll end up discarding the 2 end pieces to get the most out of your puff pastry piece. Repeat the cutting for the second puff pastry sheet that will be used for the almond croissants.
Place 1 chocolate piece just above the 2-inch edge of 1 pastry triangle and top with one almond paste log. 
I couldn't find it in "package" form, so I went with this.

Fold the dough over the chocolate as you tightly roll up the dough, enclosing the chocolate and paste. Repeat with the remaining puff pastry and chocolate.

Place the pastry rolls on the baking sheet, seam-side down. Cover the croissants with plastic wrap and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the dough firms up. (You can make these croissants 1 day ahead up to this point.)
Be smarter than I was and don't forget the parchment paper... 

Just before baking, remove the croissants from the refrigerator, brush with the beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with sugar. 15 minutes in the oven will do it. (Tips: Even if you triple the recipe, you still only need one egg. Sprinkling the sugar from higher up ensures a more even coating.)................................
Anne suggests experimenting with your own fillers, like ham and cheese for a savory spin!


  1. I'm planning on making this for an appetizer and dessert bridal shower. I'm co-hosting with the maid of honor and it'll be at her house. Problem is - she lives an hour away from me. How well will it hold up, how good will they taste if I have to travel to the party with them?


    1. Great question, Vee! If your friend can spare 15 minutes of oven time, I'd show up a little early at her house, brush them with the egg, and pop 'em in the oven right before serving. I'd do all the prep work the night before and place them in the refrigerator so they're nice and cold before you pack them into the car. I can only imagine they'll hold up very well that way. My concern about baking them before the drive is that the chocolate will re-harden as the croissants cool, and they're not nearly as pleasant that way. Let me know if you have any other questions! And come back to let us know how they turned out!